Puducherry government has become stringent in collecting revenue and implementing schemes by local bodies, which could be sensed from the recent visit of the Local Administration Minister N G Panneerselvam to the commune panchayats at Ariyankuppam and Bahour here on Wednesday to take stock of the situation.
The cash-starved local bodies have pending arrears as dues from taxes, to the tune of Rs 1 crore for over four years, that includes Rs 60 lakh due to Bahour commune panchayat and Rs 40 lakh due to Ariyankuppam commune panchayat.
There are several industries in Bahour commune which have not paid their property tax.
There are some industries which have closed down their units here, but still have pending dues of property tax to the commune panchayat.
This includes large scale industries like Mittal Ispat and Pondy Steels, who have moved out of Puducherry.
The minister inspected attendance registers and other files in the commune panchayat to drive home the point that the government means strict compliance in its functioning.
In fact, the local bodies do not receive any grants directly from central government as Puducherry is not included in the recommendations made by the Finance commission.
The local bodies are dependent on the Puducherry government for funds.
Now, with the government itself in financial constraints, it wants the local bodies to raise all the revenue due to them, so that the government can provide the minimum portion of required funds.
Recently, Puducherry Municipality had found it extremely difficult to pay the monthly remuneration to its staff.
Now, the pressure has been mounted on the local bodies to collect all their dues.
Management of solid waste is another issue of concern for these local bodies.
Following complaints of dumping on the roads adjoining the dumping yard at Bahour, the Minister directed the Commissioner to post a watchman to ensure that the garbage disposal tractors go inside the dumping yard and unload the garbage.